[Preparation] Bring the butter and egg to room temperature. Warm the milk to body temperature. Sift the cake flour and baking powder together.
[Preparation] Soak the raisins in hot water to soften. After several minutes, drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.
Put the butter in a bowl and cream with a whisk.
Add the sugar to Step 3 in 3 batches and whisk until fluffy.
Add the beaten eggs little by little to Step 4 and continue to whisk constantly (if you add the egg at once, it will separate!). Add vanilla oil and stir.
Add 1/3 of Step 1 to 5. Add 1/2 of the warmed milk and whisk. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and whisk. Add the rest of the milk and whisk well.
Change to a rubber spatula and add the rest of the dry ingredients. Fold in roughly, leaving some floury texture.
Add the raisins prepared in Step 2 and fold in until evenly combined. Stop when no longer floury.
Line the muffin moulds with paper cups. Spoon 60 g each of the batter into the paper cups.
Give 3-5 sharp taps to let excess air out.
Bake in an oven preheated to 170ºC for about 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. (My best baking time is 24 minutes)
Cool slightly on a cooling rack and wrap with plastic wrap while still warm.
[Best eating time] You could eat these fresh out of the oven. I like them after resting for about 3 days. (You could reheat in a microwave for about 20 seconds!)
[Storing] Wrap with plastic wrap, and store at room temperature.
[Variations] Use rum raisins. (After Step 2, soak in rum and leave for at least a day)
[Variations] After Step 11, brush the surface with rum while still hot.
[How to serve] Spread cream cheese or butter on the just-baked raisin muffins. It's my happiest moment.
Story Behind this Recipe
I loved the raisin scones I had at the Peninsula Hotel. Since then I've been hooked on sweets with dried fruit. I made these muffins with typical ingredients I have at home.
At Step 1, if you forget to return the butter to room temperature heat it in a microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. Do not melt the butter, though. At step 7 & 8, do not over-mix or you won't get a fluffy texture. At step 11, do not bake too long. Burnt raisins are bitter!